Jun. 20, 1999

Bison Crossing Near Mt. Rushmore

by May Swenson

Broadcast Date: SUNDAY: June 20, 1999

Poem: "Bison Crossing Near Mt. Rushmore," by May Swenson, from Nature: Poems Old and New (Houghton Mifflin).

It's the birthday in London, 1962, of writer SOPHIA WATSON, best known in England for the columns she writes for the London Daily Mail; but here in the States for the novels, Her Husband's Children (1995), and Strange and Well-Bred (1996). She's named her daughters: Constance Alabama, Beatrice Arizona, and Esther Oklahoma.

It's journalist and poet KATIE DONOVAN's birthday, in Dublin, 1962, who writes for The Irish Times and whose poetry collections include Watermelon Man (1993), and Entering the Mare.

It's the birthday of the journalist and author TIM WEINER, born in White Plains, New York, 1956, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes. His book, Blank Check, came out in 1990, based on his expose of the CIA's so-called $36 billion "Black Budget" used to fund secret weapons.

It's the birthday of the American pianist ANDRÉ WATTS, born in Nüremberg, Germany, 1946. He moved to Philadelphia when he was eight years old and made his big splash on national TV at 16 playing with the New York Philharmonic and Leonard Bernstein.

It's the birthday of guitarist Chester Burton Atkins — CHET ATKINS — born on a farm outside Luttrell, Tennessee, 1924. While still a teenager, he quit high school and hit the road, and went on to join the Grand Ole Opry in the 1950s.

It's the birthday in Missouri, 1910, of writer JOSEPHINE JOHNSON, who was just 24 years old when her first novel, Now in November, won the 1935 Pulitzer Prize.

It was on this day in 1863, right in the middle of the Civil War, that President Lincoln admitted WEST VIRGINIA as the 35th state in the Union. The land forming the new state was originally part of Virginia, but when Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, the residents of these western counties, few of whom owned slaves, decided to stay with the Union.

It's the birthday of the early poet laureate of England, NICHOLAS ROWE, born in 1674, Bedfordshire. Rowe issued the first critical edition of Shakespeare's plays, with things restored to the way Shakespeare intended them.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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